Taming the Wild Ox
Ten Oxherding Pictures, by Zen Master Kakuan, China, 12th C.
4. Catching the Bull*
I seize him with a terrific struggle.
His great will and power are inexhaustible.
He charges to the high plateau far above the cloud-mists,
Or in an impenetrable ravine he stands.
Comment: He dwelt in the forest a long time,
but I caught him today!
Infatuation for scenery interferes with his direction.
Longing for sweeter grass, he wanders away.
His mind still is stubborn and unbridled.
If I wish him to submit,
I must raise my whip.
The more that we persist. The more that we know. The more that we develop the will of our free consciousness. The less our conditioned mind will have control over us.
Source: *Translation by: Paul Reps in Zen Flesh Zen Bones, Tuttle Publishing, Boston, 1989.